Another huge blow of anxiety hit me hard last Thursday (that means few weeks have passed by the time you get to read this). I woke up in the middle of the night with shooting pain from my neck, shoulder blades down to my lower back. I’ve been having these severe but tolerable backpains before but this one was the extreme. I just kept crying for hours. I was so scared. I tried to talk myself out of it – that maybe it is just all in my head… but it was so painful.
All of a sudden, thoughts came rushing through my head. Thoughts like “I will never be good enough”, “I am a trying hard copycat”, “I’m not talented”, “I’m stupid and ugly”, “I’m alone and broke”, “I don’t have what it takes”, “No one’s going to love me”…
WHAT IF PEOPLE FIND OUT I’M FAKE?
Why I’m feeling this way?
When I dig a bit deeper, It dawned on me that the root cause of the pain I’m having is due to my internalized fear of being fake….
I just moved into a new place. It was everything I wanted. I had ticked off 23 out of 25 in the list of my Ideal Apartment/Unit. It was a dream come true for me! Everything is magical.
But here’s the catch – it will definitely blow and skyrocket my bills. Well, everything that’s nice has its price, isn’t it? I still took the risk. No regrets. I knew in my heart that this unit is meant for me. It challenges me to be the best version of myself. I trust my capabilities and I know I can pay off my bills responsibly.
It’s gonna work ‘coz I’m gonna make this work.
Moving into a new place is overwhelming (not to mention – very exhausting) but then again, this was my choice. And just like anyone who has gone through a major transition, I gave myself some time to settle down first before going back to my usual schedule.
I cheerfully “added to cart” house essentials, rearranged furniture, put things to place, DIY-ed home decors – I was set on making my new home a place I could call my own.
But on that first night, as I lay in bed in a room that felt too big, surrounded by a sight of a stunning Manila skyline, unfamiliar silence, and the warm scent of home, the anxiety began to creep in. Again, I found myself wondering: Will I be able to sustain this? Will I still be waking up to this room the next month? Will I be able to pay all my bills? I was submerged in a sea of emotions of not being enough and unworthy— and I had done it to myself.
I feel fake.
My Best Friend FEAR: How ambitious of you to live in this nice apartment?
Optimist KHIM: I can make this work. 😊 I can find 2nd/3rd job and side hustles, too! I’m smart.
BFF: Oh really? How’s your application going? Have you heard from them?
OK: Uhm not yet… maybe I can look for more opportunities. I’m sure there’s a lot out there.
BFF: You’ve just tried. Just face it – they’re not contacting you because you LACK SKILLS! YOU’RE NOT SMART! YOU’RE NOT TALENTED. YOU’RE NOT A WRITER. We both know it would take you days, even weeks to finish an article!
You are basically not good at anything. (You’re not even pretty.)
YOU ARE CHEAP, BROKE… A TRYING-HARD COPYCAT… And sooner or later, people will find out.
“SOONER OR LATER, PEOPLE WILL FIND OUT….”
The Impostor Syndrome
There’s actually a name for it, and 70% of people in the world experience this.
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome, or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which individuals doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve all they have achieved.
I couldn’t believe what I heard! I was so mean to myself that I realized there was no compassion, kindness, or acceptance. Noticing my inner voice that day made me realize that I was engaging in this unending civil war with myself — and, seriously, who benefits from that?
When I noticed how Fear spoke to me, I intentionally redirected my focus to Love. I took deep, slow breaths and closed my eyes. I quickly felt LOVE… It was beautiful.
I held on to it and suddenly, a voice so sweet and gentle echoed in my heart:
YOU ARE SPECIAL. You were brought to this situation for a purpose… Acknowledge Fear and Frustration but continue on anyway. Work hard and believe in yourself for success is just around the corner…
You are full of love and you must own that greatness within you.
And just like that, I felt as if my heart expanded and was fully accepting of who I AM – my strengths as well as my weakness.
So how do we get through this feeling of Imposter Syndrome? (Because it can be really crushing and can take away all the excitement from all opportunities available for us.)
What is SUCCESS?
We have different definitions of SUCCESS… What success feels like to me is not the same as yours or to others. Success for others may mean making fifty thousand a month, but for you, that’s not even enough to pay your credit card bills… others may want their own house while others just want a flashy car or to travel out of town at least once a year… for some, success means being able to spend more time with their family…
No one’s gonna have the same measurement of success and no one’s gonna have exact same goals. Every one has a different view of what they want in life.
So stop comparing yourself to others. PERIOD.
If you were offered an opportunity or job position or something that excites you opens up for you and (in my case, I was able to live in my dream unit) you think/feel inadequate, always remember that YOU WORK SO HARD TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.
♥ THE GROWTH MINDSET
Insecurities, doubts, fears, monsters in your head, whatever you may call it, these by default are present in all of us. Just like where there’s light, there’s also darkness. We have to be aware that these things are what makes us human – so let’s embrace it.
Also, be honest with yourself. Look at the real problem at hand — it probably isn’t quite as scary as you think it is. This is why I would always recommend you guys to meditate. Have an intimate conversation with yourself. Once you have identified the root cause of your insecurities, you will be able to work on it. Again, it’s a process, and it won’t happen overnight, but there are things you can do to get started and keep on moving.
Consistently learn new things, improve yourself and your craft. When you become skilled in something that corresponds with your talents and interests, you increase your sense of competency. So next time you are worried about being an impostor, focus on what you know you can do and what you want to learn rather than concentrating on what people may find you can’t do.
♥ THE LAW OF GESTATION
I already mentioned in my previous post The Waiting Game that things take time. The Universal Law of Gestation basically means that there is a natural order to things and we have to learn how to respect and honor this process.
It just a matter of perfect timing! Eggs will take three weeks before it hatches. There is timing in everything.
This applies to every aspect of our life. Every business you build, every goal you are striving to achieve, everything – big or small- thing that you are working to make possible takes time to grow and mature before you can finally see the result.
LIVE FULLY IN THE PRESENT
Worrying about things you can’t control won’t help and will just drain you of the mental strength you need to be your best. Focus on the NOW. Live fully in the present. Anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough present.
Look and be open to opportunities… if there’s none, then, create one for yourself. Sometimes, we don’t see possibilities because we are busy worrying and not even bother to look or even ask for it. Be proactive and just do your part. The rest will follow.
Once you’ve done your part, surrender it to the Universe. Wait and receive the manifestations with a grateful heart. Trust the process and let it come to you.
That’s it for now. Til next time. Thank you so much for reading this month’s post. If you find yourself having the same imposter thoughts, I’d love to have conversations with you.
What questions or self-doubts are you having lately? Do you also feel as lost as I do? Are you feeling confused, paralyzed…?
The comments section is a no-judgment zone. Feel free to discuss anything. Promise will reply back!